AI is About "Insights"

Artificial intelligence is an “exponential” technology that will be harnessed in lots of ways, argues futurist Rohit Talwar. Most of those ways will involve application of AI to develop better insights from mountains of raw data.

Forrester Research, for example predicts that “insights-driven” businesses will represent about $1.2 trillion a year in revenue growth by about 2020, essentially representing market share taken from competitors.

There is another potentially-important angle. Over time, virtually all larger companies--and more people within those companies--will be able to use AI to harvest information in a direct way.

While in 2015 only 51 percent of data and analytics decision-makers said that they were able to easily obtain data and analyze it without the help of technologist, Forrester expects this figure to rise to around 66 percent in 2017.

Some observers think that sort of spreading capability also will eventually lead to something we might call “artificial intelligence as a service,” where virtually every business will be able to use AI-driven algorithms to extract business value from data. So eventually, contestants with more data to mine might gain advantage over competitors who have less data to mine, and hence can derive fewer insights.

There might be other analogies. Most of the value of internet of things might well come from the analytics and insights, not the communications function linking sensors with servers.

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